(Tower of London) (Henry, David, attrib.)

An historical description of the Tower of London, and its curiosities … written chiefly to direct the attention of spectators to what is most curious in this repository, and to enable them afterwards to relate what they have seen.

London, “printed for T.Carnan and F.Newbery , Jun., at No.65, in St.Paul’s Church-Yard” 1778.

Reference: 15373
Price: £95 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. 71 + (1)pp. Early twentieth century cloth, morocco spine. Small oval ownership stamp of Birmingham Assay Office Library (from which this copy has been recently de-accessioned), and pencil shelf-mark, but no other library markings.

A late eighteenth century guide-book to the Tower of London, which is an early example of a guide-book explicitly aimed at actual visitors to a historic site and its attractions (note also the interesting last few words of the title). At this date the Tower of London still contained a menagerie of exotic animals, in addition to the Tower Armoury and the Crown Jewels, and it is interesting to note that there was a charge of sixpence for each person who wanted to see the Lions, while the charge for viewing the Regalia was one shilling or one shilling and sixpence, depending on whether the visitor was a single person or in company. The guide book was available from its publishers either singly or bound up with similar guide books to Westminster Abbey and to St.Paul’s Cathedral. The earliest edition of the present title listed in the British Library Catalogue is one of 1753, and its authorship is conventionally attributed to David Henry (1710-1792), originally a printer by trade but long involved in the management of The Gentleman’s Magazine, the most-successful and long-running periodical in the Georgian era.